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There has been some interesting discussions about who to select as your early adapters.  This hits me close to home because we are currently deciding our specific launch strategy and how that relates to early adapters. An article by Robert Scoble touches on the importance of early adapters to the success of any project, and an article by Alexander van Elsas discusses how Silicon Valley early adapters can be a quick way to trap your startup into failure.

For RentWiki.com, our early adapters and early contributors are the key to our success and growth.  They will determine our content, features, functionality, and scalability.  However, we much be aware of the minority voice that is tied to early adapters.  We are trying to help movers find great neighborhoods and avoid bad ones.  And our end mission is to provide a vehicle for people to share their personal stories and knowledge of neighborhoods… a simple review site would probably suffice.  However, early adapters (myself included) want a service above and beyond what is currently available.

So the question remains, should our early adapters be the Silicon 100,000 or less mainstream internet users?

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It’s been a while, due in part because I’ve been trying to get RentWiki.com launched by September 1.  However, I just got back from my sister’s wedding in Belize, on a secluded beach resort.  You are probably saying to yourself, “wow, that sounds like a very relaxing and fun time.” Normally it would be.

I think my generation of internet users are so attached to their daily (or minute) routines of checking email, it becames stressful not having access.  You feel naked without your blackberry, iphone, or in my case, crappy Motorola Q (damn verizon contracts).  During a period of 3 days, I was overwhelmingly stressed with no having an internet connection and access to email, that I could not enjoy the wedding.  But why is this.

1)  Expectation of responsiveness – Email has become similar to a text message or a phone call.  I expect a response within minutes, not hours or days, and others expect the same responsiveness from me.  I used to get in fights with my real estate business partner Ryan Johnson for not responding quick enough to Gchat.

2)  Information exchange – Without email, chat, twitter, or blogs, I felt disconnect from the world.  I had no idea what happening with my family, friends, technology, the olympics, the presidential campaign, and even wars.  And it was definitely a foreign feeling picking up a newspaper to get information.  Today, it seems that everyone is on top of breaking news, and it is almost a competition to see who has the most current events knowledge.

So the question is, when will you even be able to relax in a beach location free from email and the internet? For me, probably never.

Teresa and Tom

Teresa and Tom